TREES PLANTED ALONG THIS WALK / COMMEMORATE THE MAJOR / NAVAL
BATTLES / OF WORLD WAR II/
PEARL HARBOR CAPE ESPERANCE / LEYTE GULF CASABLANCA / JAVA SEA
KOMANDORSKI / MIDWAY KULA GULF / CORAL SEA PHILLIPPINE SEA /
SAVO ISLAND MAKASSAR STRAIT / DEDICATED MAY 24, 1947/
Erected by the citizens of Oak Park and River Forest, Illinois in honor of the men of this community who took part in the World War, 1914-1918." It depicts a US pilot, a soldier & a sailor in front of a figure of Columbia sheathing her sword. Inscribed with the names of 2,446 veterans from Oak Park, 56 of whom were killed in WWI.
Actually, the "public subscription" efforts tallied $52,206.69, but the effort, spearheaded by a committee, started fundraising efforts as early as 1921, so the investment earnings on the fund topped out at $59,267.46, leaving the Park District of Oak Park with a trust fund of $6,693. 83 to be used for maintenance and cleaning.
Renovation began in July 2009. Initially, it was expected to cost more than $240,000, but another $79,400 was added when inspectors in October 2009 found the foundation also was decaying. The final renovation cost was $326,400.
This monument was dedicated on November 11, 1919 in honor of those from Middleton who served in World War I and in memory of the four who died: Rupert M. Burstan; John Hoffecker; Jeremiah Jackson; and E. Davis Manlove. The original eagle atop the monument shattered during restoration in 2007 and a new eagle was unveiled in its place in 2008.
Marine Major General Roy Stanley Geiger (1885 - 1947) was a U.S. Marine Corps four-star general who served in World War I and World War II. During World War I, he served in France with 5 Group, Royal Air Force, at Dunkirk. He commanded a squadron of the First Marine Aviation Force and was attached to the Day Wing, Northern Bombing Group. For distinguished service in leading bombing raids against the enemy, he was awarded the Navy Cross. In World War II, he became the first Marine Corps general to lead an army-sized force. This memorial was restored and rededicated in 2015.